Why Is Sitting Too Much Is The New Smoking?

Concentrated woman sitting with crossed legs on yoga mat on terrace

Recent studies point to sitting too much as with the identical increase in mortality rate as smoking. Good Lord, now we must worry about sitting too! I wonder what our mortality rate is if we sat around all day drinking and smoking fatty bacon sandwiches on white bread? A couple of months past the sitting too much research were all on the news.

Let’s see…

  • People who sit for extended periods of time were 24 percent more likely to die from health issues.
  • The 47 studies did not use a cut off period of how long you will need to sit, but it appears that whenever you sit for 2 hours or more per day it’s more likely to result in negative health consequences.

Researchers looked at how exercise figured into the equation and discovered while exercise did help somewhat it did not completely counteract the harmful effects of sitting too long. They discovered that even if you do the recommended amount of moderate to vigorous exercise you will still have a greater risk of mortality if you are spending a lot of hours sitting.

Did you know?

“Human Beings weren’t designed to sit down and lie for 23 hours and go to the gym for an hour”. That’s all good and well but what can we do to put the odds back in our favor when we’ve got an office job? Over the last year I see more and more of my customers with fitness trackers in their wrists such as the Fitbit. They can measure a good deal of things, but I enjoy them most for measuring measures taken.

A couple of years back, would be to do 10,000 steps per day that would roughly represent about 5 miles give or take depending upon your height. If you’ve got the Fitbit in your wrist you’re more inclined to make the attempt to move more. Here’s an example of a person I train and the way I see it penalizing her. She takes the train in the morning from Mississauga to Downtown Toronto.

What is happenig?

She drives to the train station and parks further away then she’d regularly. Why? To get some additional steps in. She walks into the furthest portion of the train platform. Why? To get some additional steps in. She gets off the train and walks up the road for her building. As she’s waiting for the elevator she walks back and forth till she hears the ding. Why? You got itto find some additional steps in.

On her lunch break if the weathers nice she goes for a brisk walk. After work she does all of the steps above again. When she gets home she walks the dog. If her steps are not near the 10,000 goal she simply walks the dog farther that day. If a goal is top of mind you’re more likely to achieve it. Having a counter lie a Fitbit attached to your arm retains the target top of mind.

Good to know

Do people who use Fitbits accomplish the 10,000 steps daily? Absolutely not. But I am extremely confident that they finish of walking a good deal more then if they did not have one attached. As an owner of a Yoga studio you probably would guess I would say that. And you’re right! The best strategy though is to exercise at least a small Yoga everyday. Take 10 or 15 minutes from your day to perform a well rounded routine. Also try to add in some stretching at your desk. Here’s a video link which has a excellent little 6 minute video which you wouldn’t feel ashamed doing at your own desk.

Why yoga?

When sitting you’re telling your body you do not need to release these sort of chemicals that are related to longevity. Yoga is the definite go-to method for discharging all of the compounds associated with longevity, and for releasing, flushing, and detoxifying each the chemicals associated with mortality and disease. The lymphatic system carries lymph fluids via a set of vessels that fight disease including cancer cells, and eliminate some toxic waste products of cellular function.

The lymphatic vessels deficiency muscles in their walls which arteries use to propel blood. So when you’re stretching, bending, bending, twisting, and transferring organs around in Yoga postures you’re enhancing the flow of lymph in your system. The adrenal glands release Cortisol in reaction to stress.


Cortisol does horrible things to the body like controlling the immune system, and adding weight especially around the stomach. Yoga lowers blood glucose in people with Diabetes. I hear very positive results in my yoga customers all of the time about this one. Diabetes can result in nasty things like increased risk of heart attack, kidney failure and blindness. High blood pressure may result in greater chance of heart attacks, kidney failure and strokes. Yoga’s ability to decrease weight, increase cardiovascular health and reduce stress significantly helps reduce blood pressure.

Numerous studies have documented yoga’s ability to decrease the bad sugars and fats (LDL) which are related to heart attacks and pancreatitis, and increase the HDL (good cholesterol). The studies feel Yoga’s ability to de-stress has favorable effects on both kinds of cholesterol. Yoga reduces the formation of blood clotting that leads to heart attacks and strokes. Yoga does so by reducing the production of blood clotting proteins.

Final note

Are you convinced Yoga might just allow you to live a bit longer? I believe that the most important takeaway from the above is that Yoga moves your body like nothing else. When you’re doing Yoga you’re twisting, turning, lengthening, bending, squeezing, pulling, inverting, etc. etc.. Even if you discount the research, it only makes sense that if sitting contributes to mortality then Yoga must be the total and complete antithesis to not moving. We see we can counterbalance the effects of sitting too long with a few easy strategies.